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Senators Hassan, Braun Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support New Businesses Amid the Pandemic

NH Small Businesses & Organizations Applaud Bill’s Introduction

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation today to support entrepreneurship and help new businesses create jobs throughout the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Recovery Startup Assistance Act provides payroll assistance to new small businesses started during the pandemic. Specifically, through 2021, the bill provides new small businesses with a tailored version of the Employee Retention Tax Credit – which helps businesses hire and retain employees by providing advance payments covering payroll and health care expenses. So far, many of these new businesses have been unable to access other COVID-19 relief programs.


“It has been inspiring to see Granite Staters step up amid the COVID-19 pandemic to create job opportunities by opening new businesses,” said Senator Hassan. “They are helping their communities and customers in innovative ways, and so many of these businesses will be key to long-term economic recovery from this devastating pandemic. I am proud to lead efforts in Congress to get new businesses in New Hampshire and across the country the relief that they need to stay afloat and help power our economic recovery.”


“As a business owner, I understand the challenges firsthand and I am proud to introduce The Recovery Startup Assistance Act that helps small business owners who opened their shop up during the pandemic,” said Senator Braun. “This legislation will help new businesses hire and retain employees with payroll and healthcare expense assistance, which is a win for small business owners across the country.”      


New Hampshire businesses and organizations discussed the importance of this new bill.


“The businesses we work with have been at the forefront of finding innovative ways to serve people amid this pandemic. We are encouraged to see new restaurants and hotels open up at such a difficult time, and they should have the same type of assistance that other businesses have as they contribute to communities and our economic recovery. Thank you to Senator Hassan for leading this important effort,” said Mike Somers, CEO/President of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association.


“Exile Burrito is a veteran-owned small business in Berlin, NH. We opened in May of 2020, and begun with 14 employees, and have had to scale down to 10, just to stay afloat. We have not only been shut out of the PPP loans, and other stimulus, traditional lending institutions refuse to lend to us, regardless of positive equity and no debt. I saw so much potential in our community, that I was determined to move forward cautiously with the plan to open our family-owned restaurant, regardless of COVID 19. We desperately need the ability to hire more employees and The Recovery Startup Assistance Act, would allow us to continue to grow and expand, through additional hiring,” said Adam Hammill, owner of Exile Burrito in Berlin.


“We opened in 2020 after years of planning. New small businesses are the heart of main street, the lack of support they have received during this pandemic will have lasting effects if help is not allocated. Keeping people employed is the goal for all of us and until we are able to return to full capacity help is needed in this goal. We want to keep people employed, assistance in getting us through these next challenging months will assure that we can do this. We have invested in our community, we are asking for support in helping us to continue to do this,” said Kim Clark, owner of Ciao Trattoria & Wine Bar in Durham.


"It's important to support small, nimble, and agile start-ups, especially through the storm of COVID-19. Start-ups like ecoText and those similarly powered by passion and a mission to provide significant impact, are vibrant to the New Hampshire business ecosystem. They certainly should not be left out of any assistance or potential relief packages,” said Joel Nkounkou, Founder and CEO of ecoText in Durham.


Read more about Senator Hassan and Braun’s bill here.